Monday, September 2, 2013

End of Summer

Happy Labor Day!  Well summer is almost over.  This weekend is the unoffical end of the season. You can see what I have been doing instead of writing this blog!  For the first time in a long time I have been reading a lot, I even contributed book reviews to The Nyack Library's Adult Summer Reading program. It certainly is better than watching TV reruns all night.  Working at The Library for the past year has definitely been a good influence on me.

Now that the fall is approaching, I guess that its time to get back to business.  I have been preparing new fun craft tutorials for this blog.  I am starting with some simple uses for paper scraps from magazines, newspapers and even recycled books.  

Just in time for the school year, we will be  using these materials to decorate composition books.  Also I'll show you how your can upgrade some inexpensive frames with paper and found objects!

And here are some of the finished items.  Great craft fun (all ages can do this craft) and great for gift giving this holiday season.

Old Frame & Composition Book decorated with strips from recycled magazine pages

Two Journals made new with recycled magazine pages, old books and atlases

Well, ta-ta for now.  Please take a look at my Etsy site, it's not to early to think about holiday gift giving, especially if you don't want to do it yourself!   Also I have some cute Halloween wire bracelets for the young at heart!

See you soon,


Friday, July 26, 2013

Black & Gold Chunky Bracelet

Hi to all,

Last week I left you with  half of the instructions to make your own chunky bracelet.  I had just finished laying the buttons out on my bracelet base, trying to find the best design using the buttons and old earrings I had on hand.

Once I decide on a design, it's time to glue the buttons to the circular sections of the bracelet base.   Some buttons have shanks on the back.  Likely, you will  have to remove them to get a good tight fit.  (Don't cut shanks off a valuable buttons, it will make them worthless.)  Use E6000 jeweler's glue to glue the buttons and/or earrings to the bracelet base.  I have always had good results with it.  This is how the bracelet looks now:

The next step is to create the charms that will be dangling from the bracelet. I am going to use gold and black beads from my stash.  I  also use quite a few seed beeds when I make charms.  And, you will need gold 7-8mm jump rings and 2" gold head pins. Here are the materials you will need for this step:

Each charm is made with a headpin and several different beads, you can add as many beads, in as many sizes as you want.  The more beads you add the longer the charm is.  Let your own creativity be your guide.  Just save enough of the headpin to twist into a loop.  

The bracelet base I used has 13 links.  The two end links are part of the closure so I did not put charms on them.  So, I needed charms for 11 links, at least 22 charms.  I made about 25.

Next, take one jump ring, open it, add one or two charms and then attach it to the bracelet link.  Continue this process until you have attached charms to all of the links. The charms should hang free so they move when the bracelet is worn.

I didn't like the way my charms looked on the bracelet, I moved them around a bit and added a third charm to some of the links.  I also made another charm with a much larger bead to hang from the large flower button.  A kind of "focal charm".  Here's what the bracelet looks like once I got the charms the way I wanted them.

Now I really like it!!  That big charm in the center is exactly what it needed.  A beautiful bracelet made from old buttons, earrings and beads.

If you have any questions, or get stuck making this bracelet just leave me a comment and an email address. I'll get back to you ASAP.  Send me pics of what you made, I'll post them here.

Stop by my Etsy site.  And thanks; see you soon,


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Tutorial: Chunky Vintage Button and Bead Bracelet

Chunky Crystal and Pearl Bracelet
Hi to all,

I know its been nearly a month.  I guess everything slows down in the summer, including me!  On this post, I'd like to show you a great summer project.  It may take some time so you will have to be patient; it will definitely be worth it!

The picture above shows a finished example of this type of bracelet.  The bracelet was crafted from vintage buttons and  lots of pearls and crystal beads.  We are going to make our bracelet from old necklaces, earrings and buttons.  This time I chose a black and gold theme.  The materials I had on hand are in the picture below.

The base of my bracelet is a gold bracelet finding available at Fire Mountain Gems.  You will need some E6000 glue and about 50 gold head pins and 50 7mm. gold jump rings.  Gather your materials and the fun will begin.

The first step is to prepare your earrings and buttons.  If they have a stud or a shank on the back, this has to be removed.  Usually my jeweler's cutters will work, but sometimes you have to use heavy duty wire cutters. Some pieces will not work, just save them for other projects.  Your pieces need a flat back to adhere well to the bracelet base.  Next you want to lay the bracelet base or finding out flat and then start to arrange your jewelry pieces and buttons out in a design that you like.

Remember that your pieces will be glued to the solid disks and the links will be used for the charms we make later.  There can be a small amount of overlap between butons and earrings, but try to avoid it.

Here's my first design:

I am going to sign off here.  The second half of the tutorial will be ready in about a week, see you then.

In the meantime, please check out my Etsy shop annemadethis.



Thursday, June 20, 2013

Finished Necklace and a Bracelet


Well it's finally done!  Here are some pics of the recycled necklace I started a few weeks ago.  It really turned out to be a statement piece!

Close up of my necklace
 Since my last post, I attached about 35 paper bead charms to the necklace.  I nestled them in, and made the necklace a full fun piece!
The necklace

There were enough paper bead charms left over to craft this bracelet that complements the necklace and a bonus pair or earrings.
The bracelet is made from 14 paper bead charms, several vintage metal charms and a big gold tone bauble.  The bracelet has a toggle closure and the finished length is 71/2" long.  I have posted the bracelet on my Etsy site, there are more pictures there.

Bracelet and Earrings

If you have any questions about this necklace or how to craft one from some of your old jewelry,  feel free to contact me through this blog.

Please check my Etsy shop out.  I think you'll like what you see!

Enjoy and have fun crafting,


Thursday, June 6, 2013

A Preview


When I left you two weeks ago, we were remaking an old necklace to a new statement piece.  I've completed a few more steps, but it still is not finished!  Here are the next several steps in completing the new necklace.

A new chain with the charms & medallions from the old

Moving on to the next step.  I made about 50 paper beads, various colors, and glazed them   There is a tutorial for making the beads on my blog.
Paper beads on head pins with other small beads

Paper beads with three coats of glaze
Next I took the paper beads with other small beads and seed beads and put them on 2"gold head pins.  Once you have the head pins arranged the way you like them, make a loop at the end of each pin.  These will make additional charms to put on our necklace, filling it out and adding fullness.  I made about 40 paper bead charms to add to my necklace.  This is what the my completed head pins look like this.

By next week, hopefully, I'll have all of the paper bead charms attached to the necklace.  The new necklace should be a statement piece!

Please visit my Etsy shop and I'll see you next week.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Works in Process

Hi to all,

Here's a glimpse at my most recent garage sale finds.  Great, right?  The earrings will be wonderfully in a black and gold bracelet I'm working on.  And I love those big black beads, haven't really decided what to do with them yet.

As promised last week. I was going to give you some of my steps in creating a new necklace from an old broken on.  Here's the old necklace:

Step 1: Disassemble the necklace.  Take apart the beads and carefully remove the metal charms.

Step 2:  Using head pins, string the beads along with seed beads creating "new" charms for your necklace.

Step 3: I used an old recycled chain as the base for my new necklace.  See below.

Step 4: Take the metal pieces and arrange them between the head pin charms, going for an effect of fullness. Attach the metal pieces with gold jump rings.

Step 5:  I wanted to make the necklace still fuller, so I decided to add some paper beads.  I am making them a variety of sizes.  Once they are done I will put them on head pins with other beads and attach them to the necklace also.  Beads are below, drying!

Stay tuned....Next week, hopefully, the necklace will be finished.

And please, check out my etsy shop

See you next week,


Saturday, May 11, 2013

Mother's Day and Spring

1916 Mother's Day post card
Hi to all,

Happy Spring and happy Mother's Day.  Mother's day is a celebration honoring mothers and motherhood that is held all over the world. In the US, the holiday is celebrated on the second Sunday of May. 

Mother's Day celebrations date back to the ancient Greeks and Romans who held festivals to honor the mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele.  The closest precedent to the modern Mother's Day is an early Christian celebration called "Mothering Sunday".  

The roots of the modern Mother's Day start with Ann Reeves Jarvis, who organized "Mother's Day Work Clubs" to teach women how to care for their children.   In 1868,  these clubs were called "Mothers' Friendship Day", women gathered with union and confederate soldiers to promote reconciliation.  

The official Mother's Day holiday started in the early 1900's as a result of the efforts of Ann Jarvis, daughter of Ann Reeve Jarvis.  She wanted to honor mothers and their sacrifices.    Ann lobbied hard for President Wilson to make Mother's Day a national holiday and her persistence paid off in 1914.

After Mother's Day became a national holiday, it was not long before florists, card companies and other merchants capitalized on their popularity.  Jarvis had  hoped the holiday would become a personal celebration of mothers, but by 1920, she was disgusted with how the holiday had become commercialized.  She  disowned the holiday, By the time of her death in 1948 . Now the holiday is one of the biggest holidays for consumer spending!

An Old Necklace
Finally, here's an old necklace I am going to use to create a beautiful new necklace.  Check this blog next week, I'll have pictures and hopefully a finished piece to show you!

Be sure to stop by my Etsy shop, have a wonderful week.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Earth Day

Hi to all,

Well Earth Day has come and gone.  Has it become less important?  Did you miss all of the celebrations? Take a look at this interesting article.  Has Earth Day Lost it's Appeal? 

As for me, now every day is Earth Day.  I participated in the first Earth Day on my college campus many years ago; this year I did not do anything special.  But now I make every day Earth Day by planning car trips to be most efficient and recycling all of my discards.  I think about preserving the earth everyday.  And I have established annemadethis on the principle that we can make beautiful things from stuff others discard.   Here are some examples, things all made from recycled materials, mostly magazines, carboard and newspapers!  Take a look at my Etsy shop for more examples.
Paper Bead Bracelet


Paper Bead Necklace

Also there are tutorials in earlier posts in this blog for you DIY crafters to make all of these things.

These are a few of my favorite pieces made by my friends on Etsy.  Enjoy!!

Mauve Starburst
Lapis Pendant

Remember recycle and please visit my shop.

Until next time,

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Bracelets and Journals

Paper Bead Bracelets Made at the Pleasantville Middle School Earth Day Fair

Paper Bead Bracelet
Paper Bead Bracelet
Paper bead Bracelet
Paper Bead Bracelet

Paper Bead Bracelet                                                                
I had a great time with the students at Pleasantville Middle School showing them how to make paper beads.  They made a couple of beads then strung them with a few other beads on hemp to make a very special bracelet..
Paper Bead Bracelet
Below are a few more new journals, all made from snippets of magazines, books and maps.  The journals make great gifts for recording thoughts, recipes and trip sights and special memories.  And what a great way to recycle old magazines! What do you think?

Journal Covers

I have several other styles on my Etsy site.  Please check them out.   They are all bound books, various sizes all made with archival paper.

Journal Backs

Be sure to check my Etsy site, annemadethis.

I will see you all soon,


Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter

Hi to All,

Happy Easter.  I hope spring is trying to come your way.  We finally got a hint of it yesterday with temperatures close to 60 degrees F.  Below is the my most recent "Wizard of Oz" necklace.  This necklace was crafted from reproduction pages of the first Wizard of Oz  with the illustrations by W.W. Denslow.   I made the paper beads from cardboard game tiles; the chains and the other beads were reclaimed from vintage jewelry.  This necklace is posted on my Etsy site now.

Wizard of Oz paper bead necklace

Front cover of the journal
Back cover of journal

My friend teaches nursery school and loves reading to her 4-year old pupils.    This is a special journal I made for her, above are the photos of the front and back covers.  The covers are collaged with prose and pictures from some of the best known children's picture books.  After gluing the papers, three coats of an ultra-thick gloss is brushed on to protect the covers.  And no picture books were destroyed in this project.

Next week I'll be at the 2013 Earth Day Fair at the Pleasantville Middle School.  I will be running a workshop on making paper beads for the Middle Schoolers.  The Fair will run from 5:30 until 7:30.

Talk to you next week.  Be sure to stop by my Etsy shop or come see me at the Fair!


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Here it is!

Hi to everyone,

Ozma of Oz Necklace
Well, here it is; my Ozma of Oz necklace.  You can see some of the steps in making in the necklace in my previous blog.  There is also a complete tutorial describing the process of  making these paper "beads" in my November 11, 2011 blog. I posted the necklace on Etsy a few days ago.  You can see it there by clicking on the picture caption above.

Now I am working on a Wizard of Oz project made from the pages of a copy of the original edition.

Spring is just around the corner, some of the crocus have poked their purple heads up through the ground.  The first day of spring will be March 20th and Easter is March 31st.  So the Spring Craft Fairs can not be far behind!  Here we go again, my second season of craft fairs.

First on the agenda is an Earth Day Fair at Pleasantville Middle School on April 11.  I love participating, it is really a workshop. I can teach kids all about paper beads and how to make them.  It teaches them that we can make beautiful things out of what we throw away.

Sunday Morning Paper Bead Bracelet

And here is a sample of bringing old designs back!  This bracelet is made from the pages of the Sunday magazine section of the newspaper.  Available by special order at

Talk to you soon,


Thursday, March 7, 2013

National Craft Month

Greeting to all,


March is National Craft Month.  The special designation was created by the Craft and Hobby Association in 1994, designed to encourage people to learn about and rediscover the the joy of crafting and all of its benefits.  You can read some of my previous posts about some of the benefits of crafting.

Many craft stores mark this month with special sales and discounts, in-store demonstrations, make-it and take-it workshops and other classes.  National Craft Month has become an international celebration of creativity with millions of crafters participating.  So get out there and learn a new craft!!  You can start with some of my tutorials!

And here is some more inspiration for Craft Month.  I have started  making a new necklace made from the pages of one of the Wizard of Oz books, Ozma of Oz.  Below are photographs of the some of the first steps of the process.
Disks cut from corrugated cardboard and the novel

After cutting out the disks from the pages of the novel, they are glued to each side of the cardboard.  Then they glazed with three coats of triple thick acrylic.  Set them to dry overnight on toothpicks.  You can follow a complete tutorial on my November 8, 2011 blog.

"Ozma" disks drying on toothpicks stuck in an egg carton.
See the finished "Ozma of Oz" necklace next week!

And special thanks to Karen, my Etsy friend for saving the pages of the books she uses for her hand bags. Karen provides the "literary" pages I use to make my jewelry.   Check out her "novel" bags  at her Etsy site, NovelCreations.  She has made purses from Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and lots of other famous novels. What adorable purses!

Happy Craft Month and be sure to visit my Etsy shop, annemadethis.

Talk to everyone soon,